10 Easy Ways to Use Up Christmas Leftovers

19 December 2017

If you're a "foodie" you've probably been planning your Christmas menu for weeks and your laden table looks like a epicurean dream.  The reality is that we can still only eat more or less the same as any other ordinary day, but in our excitement it can be so easy to over-estimate quantities and end up with a whole lot of excess food. 

If Boxing Day finds you with a groaning fridge, here are 10 quick and easy ideas ideas to make the most of your Christmas leftovers.


Xmas leftovers 1

The Day After Christmas: What to do with so much food?


1. Donate it: if your excess food is non-perishable and still in unopened packaging, you can donate it! In Wellington, try Downtown Community Ministry Foodbank, in Auckland, try the Auckland City Mission

2. Share it: Do you know your neighbours?  Many people don’t have family nearby to celebrate the season with, so, build on that seasonal courage and pop next door with that leftover fruit cake and have a cuppa on Boxing Day.  As a super added bonus random acts of kindness are scientifically proven to make us feel happier too! 

3. Make a quick quiche: quiche is a superb way to bring out the best in your leftovers. Here's a very simple recipe for Ham & Cranberry quiche: in a bowl mix 1.5c leftover cheese, 3/4c ham/vege sausage, 1/2 a jar of cranberry sauce, a handful of chopped herbs or spring onions, 3 eggs, and 3/4c milk.  Pour this into a 9-inch baking dish lined with pastry and bake at 180c for 40-45mins. Easy!

4. Christmas Ice Cream: Crumble up Christmas cake (or pudding), drizzle with some orange juice, cranberry juice, or a little sweet liquor, and stir into softened vanilla ice cream.  Refreeze and it'll be ready and waiting to celebrate summer in a few weeks. 

5. Bake up some savoury scrolls: scrolls are the perfect vehicle for using up leftover vegetables, sauces, meats and cheese. Just swap in your leftovers of choice as the filling. Click here for a super easy version using only greek yoghurt and self raising flour.  You can also make a sweet version by subbing in leftover fruit mince or chocolate. Yum! 

6. Use up your root veges in an orange cake: if you have a plethora of uncooked root veges in your pantry, this recipe will utilize them in an unusually delightful way. 

7. A salad for every occasion: roast pumpkin and pistachio, wild rice and cranberry, turkey and avocado? Your favourite Christmas flavour combo is likely to work just as well in a salad. Putting wilted salad greens into a bowl of iced water should help to perk them up.

8. Potato patties: this versatile recipe for potato patties and chard has a variation for everyone with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options.

9.Frozen fruit smoothie power: freeze leftover berries, bananas, kiwis or plums and whip them up into cooling smoothies.  A frozen banana is a very convincing replacement for ice cream in a smoothie but so much better for you!

10. Five Minute Fool: whip up excess cream (or use it pre-whipped from Christmas day).  Mix in the same amount of yoghurt and a bit of icing sugar to taste.  Then simply add left over chopped fruit or fruit sauce (or even jam) for a simple and no stress dessert which will be devoured in less time than it took to make! 


Have we missed your favourite way to use up Christmas leftovers? Email us at hello@commonsenseorganics.co.nz and we'll add your suggestion to our list of leftover inspiration for next Christmas!